Member Blogs > Journey of a BooksellerThe Soldier's Curse by Thomas Keneally, Meg Keneally

  • Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:00:00    Permalink

    This book was fascinating.  It's set in New South Wales and is a prison camp for English prisoners.  One of them is a man who worked as a legal clerk and then forged a certificate to work as a lawyer.  He's found out and after serving time in more than one facility, he finds himself here.  The good news is that he gets chosen to work as a clerk for the commander and he doesn't have to do the other ugly jobs.  The bad news is there's an assistant to the commander that doesn't like him.  It doesn't take long for a crisis to arrive after the commander goes looking for a river that is rumored to be large enough to be useful...

    Atria Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 12th.

    This is well told tale of a man who didn't have opportunity and made his own.  He has trouble keeping his mouth shut and he gets punished for that.  He still believes in justice even if he is in jail.  He and the housekeeper get to be special friends and share a cup of tea in the mornings.  There's a young Irish soldier that sometimes keeps them company and they both enjoy his humor.

    The assistant commander shows his sadistic side when having someone disciplined.  They only give 35 lashes for wrong doing but he makes it 100.  And when he deems the soldier is not hitting him hard enough, he takes the lash and adds even more.  The lashed man dies...

    When the commander's wife dies, everything goes to pieces.  Especially since she was poisoned.  The housekeeper is accused of it since she served her the tea.  Hugh doesn't believe she did it and tries to prove it but his documents that would make the assistant commander not look good get confiscated and burned.  He doesn't give up though.

    The story has lots of detail and moves a bit slowly but it takes you inside the story and you feel you know the people.  I'd read more about this character.  He's intriguing.

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